You can instantly detect an unidentified odor as one walks into a bathroom or kitchen only to realize the source coming from the drain after checking the usual places. Some would run the disposal thinking perhaps left-over food was left in the drain if it is the kitchen sink with a ready garbage disposal. You can remove the odor and freshen up the drain for good when this doesn’t work, or a drain not equipped with a garbage disposal still emits odors. With this in mind, we at The Original $49.95 Plumber would like to share the common causes to drain odors.
Bad Plumbing & Other Causes of Stinky Drains
If there are any missing traps or vents, leaks, and rotting drain tubes, odors will seep from a bathroom or kitchen sink.
Obstructed vent pipes: When substances clog drain vents, water can start to pool in the sink. Due to the sluggish water movement, stagnant odors become evident.
Bacteria and sludge in drain: Food, hair, soap residues, grease, and other gunky debris is likely lining your pipes. Even it doesn’t develop a clog, bacteria are attracted to these articles in the drain.
Sewer gas coming up through drains: Due to empty P-traps, sewer gases can rise from the drain. This is usually only a result from sinks that are infrequently used.
How to Clean Drains to Get Rid of Smells
Near boiling water or white vinegar, rubber gloves, wrench, bucket, a hose, and a ladder, you need baking soda, as cleaning out a smelly drain is fairly simply. Combined methods are most effective and there are several ways to neutralize the odors in many instances.
Either boiling water or vinegar should be poured down the drain: Half a pot of water or white vinegar that is nearly almost boil slowly needs to be poured down the drain. After letting it linger for 5 minutes or so, rinse the pipe with cold water to solidify any lingering gunk. Then flush the remaining pot of hot water or vinegar down the drain.
Baking soda and vinegar poured down the drain: Run the hot water tap and then shut it of for several seconds. Begin by first pouring 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with 2 cups of hot vinegar. Wait until it has stopped fizzing, about an hour or so, turn the hot water tap on and let it wash down the drain.
Clean out the P-trap: To remove the curved portion of the plumbing beneath the sink, wear your rubber gloves and use your wrench. Empty any water and gunk from the trap with your bucket. Take the P-trap outside and use the garden hose to rinse it out. Reassemble the plumbing before using the sink again.
Drain vent cleaning: In most homes a single opening on the roof is where all drain vents to. After you climb up on the roof using a sturdy ladder, clear away any leaves or other debris clogging the drain vent.
Maintenance to Avoid Smelly Drains
By preventing them with simple steps listed below, you can combat smelly drains.
1) Make certain to let the garbage disposal run for at least 20 seconds every time you dispose of food down the kitchen sink.
2) Pour a gallon of near-boiling water down the drain once a week once a week.
3) Occasionally run water down the drain to keep the P-trap full of water in rarely used sinks. Add mineral oil to slow evaporation.